EUROPA LEAGUE THURSDAY: We preview Thursday’s Europa League games between BATE BORISOV V ARSENAL, CELTIC v VALENCIA and MALMO v CHELSEA with recommended BETDAQ bets.


5.55pm We’ve seen an action packed few days of Champions League action but the Europa League now takes center stage on Thursday night. We kick things off with Arsenal traveling to take on BATE Borisov – the home side finished second in a Group involving Chelsea and they only lost 1-0 here to Arsenal’s London rivals so perhaps we won’t see a lot of goals from the Gunners this evening. BATE are currently in their pre-season stage of the season so they might be a little rusty and you could see a close first half but ultimately Arsenal find the gaps later on in the second half.

Arsenal are heavy odds on favourites with the match odds at the time of writing currently trading; BATE Borisov 8.0, Arsenal 1.49 and the draw is 4.8. You’d have to expect a very strong line-up from Arsenal here considering that they have no game at the weekend due to being out of the FA Cup and we feel that will tell late on as BATE cannot be fully match fit considering their season. It’s tempting to back Arsenal on the handicap -1 goal however we feel that the 1.49 is big enough to back in the match odds market.

Arsenal to beat BATE Borisov at 1.49.

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8pm Celtic would have hated this draw and they really need a positive result tonight so stand any chance of going through. They made hard work of getting through their Group; needing results to go their way elsewhere to finish second while Valencia drop down to the Europa League after exiting the Champions League. There’s no doubt that Valencia are a few leagues above Celtic in quality terms; however with home advantage Celtic are a much better team compared to away from home and they can really give this a go tonight.

The match odds at the time of writing currently trade; Celtic 3.5, Valencia 2.36 and the draw is 3.4. Valencia were in a Champions League Group with Juventus and Manchester United, so they’ve had plenty of tough fixtures in Europe already this season and they did collect four points against United. Celtic have a good record at home in Europe however they lost their unbeaten run this season. We feel that Valencia at 2.36 is more than a few ticks too big and we’re happy to back them seeing how the teams have played in Europe this season – it will be a tough night for Valencia, but the 2.36 is simply too big to ignore and it looks the best bet of the night.

Valencia to beat Celtic at 2.36.

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8pm Chelsea were embarrassed by Manchester City at the weekend when losing 6-0 and with the League Cup Final coming up soon against City; they really need to boost their confidence before that. They also face Manchester United in the FA Cup on Monday night, so a smooth win is very much needed here. It will be very interesting to see does Sarri take a chance and rest players here, or does he go for a strong XI? We feel that he will likely opt to rest some players and in truth, it would be a massive shock if Chelsea couldn’t win here.

The match odds at the time of writing currently trade; Malmo FF 10.0 Chelsea 1.41 and the draw is 5.2. Malmo will certainly see this as a wonderful opportunity to kick Chelsea when they’re down, they have already surprised plenty of punters by even getting to this stage. They are unbeaten in their last eight European fixtures, so while Chelsea are a few levels above them quality wise – it won’t be easy for the London club. It’s unfortunate that they haven’t been able to play a competitive match for so long and that will probably take it’s toll late on. We feel that Malmo can keep Chelsea close in this one but with Chelsea grinding out a win late on – Malmo are trading 1.8 +1.5 goals and that looks good value.

Malmo FF +1.5 goals to beat Chelsea at 1.8.

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